Dean Ambrose’s Push Will Hurt Roman Reigns’ WWE Return


Dean Ambrose’s spotlight isn’t going to do Roman Reigns any favors.

On Monday’s episode of Raw, Dean Ambrose was the focus of the show. He led off in a segment with Triple H that set things up for the conclusion where the Lunatic Fringe got his wish for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship. We just don’t know when it will happen.

Ambrose also suffered a beat down from the Game. This wasn’t to the extent of Roman Reigns’, but it was pretty brutal.

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So for however long the Big Dog is out for, it seems Ambrose will be a priority. He already had been but what we saw on Monday was bigger than ever for him.

This spotlight on Ambrose is going to do him wonders and showcase how skillful of a talent he is. The promos and entertaining in-ring work have always sold the fans and what we saw on Monday was no different. Even with that one word, “thanks” before Triple H beat him down, which was gold. Fans ate this all up throughout the night.

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Unfortunately, all of this isn’t going to do Reigns any favors for his return, whenever it happens.

The two-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion is a good performer. He has the look, presence and can hold his own in the ring.

However, the connection simply isn’t there between the fans and him. This goes for the major cities and even the smaller ones. Yes, the latter arenas mostly give Reigns a positive reaction but it’s muted.

The promos from Reigns show the signs of this. His words just don’t connect like they should. He’s certainly not the most skillful on the microphone, but he has shown that when his speaking is limited, things go fine.

As for Ambrose, he could cut a promo for all three hours of Raw and people would be satisfied. The man can sell what he’s speaking with his emotions and build sympathy. This has been seen in his interactions with Brock Lesnar for the past month.

This emotion was also there on Raw when he challenged Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It probably won’t happen, but fans are going to be rooting for Ambrose to pull off the shocking upset and win the title. They are behind their guy and it should make for a fun match. It’s the opposite of Reigns, who is probably going to walk into the WrestleMania 32 main event that resembles a hostile environment. This will be similar to when he came out for WrestleMania 31, except with 25,000 more people.

Anyway, this strong work speaking has built Ambrose a connection with the WWE audience that favors the average man character. A better word may be the more “believable” one. He doesn’t have the insane ability to overcome everything like Reigns, John Cena and Hulk Hogan. He isn’t 275 lbs of muscle. He isn’t on every single promotional ad.

What Ambrose most closely resembles is Stone Cold Steve Austin. No, he is not the Texas Rattlesnake, but if we’re going back to the recent history of top WWE stars, he most closely resembles Austin. The blue-collar work ethic was ridiculously over with the fans in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s while the same goes for 2016. It’s a formula that also worked with CM Punk who was a fantastic wrestler and speaker but obviously not the biggest guy around.

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So fans are going to continue to see all of this from Ambrose while Reigns is on the sidelines. He will overshadow his former Shield partner, who will return in a red-hot city and be doused with boos. WWE Raw will be held in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Brooklyn over the next four weeks, and Reigns will likely come back in one of them (a return at March to WrestleMania in Toronto isn’t out of the question). None of those arenas are going to give him a good reception, not even Philly, which surprisingly welcomed him back with positive chants on the Raw after WWE TLC. Everyone thought Roman had turned a corner, but here we are about ten weeks later at square one.

It’s unfortunate because Reigns is talented and most of this is not his fault. Outdated booking has done him in for almost two years and it’s getting to the point where WWE may need to cease plans on making him the only top guy and bring more into the mix. This was the decision made when Diesel’s push was stopped in the mid-1990’s and we may see that happen against 20 years later. Ambrose will be around to help lead the charge and there’s also some guy named Seth Rollins for those who forgot.

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All eyes will be on Roman Reigns when he returns, along with 10,000 fans’ vocal chords. How he is received will all depend on what Dean Ambrose does over the next week or so, but the minds of the WWE Universe is probably made up no matter what happens.